Celebrate Black History Month with Campus and Community Events
Written by Erin Michel, Graduate Assistant for the Graduate School
February is Black History Month, an annual period of observance established to recognize and honor important individuals and historic events across the African diaspora. Begun in 1926 and overseen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), each year is given a theme to ground the focus of reflection and exploration. This year’s theme is Black Resistance, in recognition of the myriad ways in which African Americans have resisted oppression throughout our country’s history. As ASALH puts it, “this is a call to everyone […] to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.” One way to answer this call is to get out into the community and engage in programming, to learn, experience, and contribute. Luckily, there are tons of Black History month goings-on both on and off campus; read on to find out how you can take part.
Self-Guided UC Black History Trail tour: Initially created as a small group project for an African American History class, this self-guided walking tour can be accessed here through any web browser or via the PocketSites mobile app and includes audio commentary to accompany each stop around campus. The tour covers the important contributions of Black campus and community leaders as well as past and ongoing racial inequities within our institution. For example, did you know that UC was the site of dangerous full-body radiation experiments in the 1960s which disproportionately targeted low-income Black community members? By looking unflinchingly at UC’s complicated and nuanced legacy of racial injustice, we can begin to acknowledge and reconcile the past in service of a more just, equitable future.
Drink-n-Think series: February 8, 15, and 22, 6:30-9PM. Ludlow Wines will host Dr. Holly Y. McGee every Wednesday in Black History Month 2023 for lecture series on everything you've ever wanted to know about African American History but were hesitant to ask. Topics include critical race theory, reparations, Afrofuturism, and the importance of Black History Month. Drink-n-Think events are 21+ and will include complimentary refreshments.
Open classes: ongoing throughout the month. The AACRC is excited to announce monthlong drop-in classes program for individuals to “experience Black history from a truly interdisciplinary perspective.” Bearcats and guests can join any of the included classes for free; offerings range from music to medicine to Africana Studies and more. See open class opportunities by clicking here to view the calendar.
Cincinnati Art Museum Gallery Chat: February 11, 1-3PM. Join museum educators to view and learn about Black art history and culture including works by artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Henry Ossawa Tanner. Event is free and ASL interpretation will be offered.
Soul Food Cook-off: February 10, 7-9PM. Do you think you have what it takes to win the Golden Foot Award? Would you like to compete? In 2019 the AACRC hosted UC’s first soul food cook-off. After two years the cook-off is finally back and ready for a new champion. The entire UC community is invited to either compete in the cook-off or judge the entries. Free food! Free drinks! Doors open at 5:30, event is located at the AACRC at 60 W. Charleston. See calendar for more info.
Black Family Fun night: February 21, 6:30-8:30PM, TUC. Friends, family and relatives alike are welcome to participate in an evening of wholesome fun including games, meditation, movies, scavenger hunts, family reading and a kids’ “Sip-n-Paint.” See calendar for more info.
Douglass Day @ Langsam: February 14, 12PM-3PM, Langsam Library. In honor of abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ chosen birthday, the English and History Departments as well as the McNair Scholars program are offering the opportunity to give back by transcribing important Black history documents to be preserved in online archives. Bring your own laptop as only a few are available to borrow. Birthday cake will be served to honor Douglass. Click here to learn more about Douglass Day.
Esoteric Brewing Small Business Saturdays: February 11, 18, 25; 2-6PM. Esoteric Brewing Company, one of Cincinnati’s only Black-owned breweries, will be hosting a weekly market throughout the month featuring goods sold by Black and brown entrepreneurs. Patronizing minority owned businesses is a great way to show support for Black history month.
African-American Genealogy Assistance: February 16, 9AM-9PM. The Covington Branch Library will be offering free one-on-one sessions with genealogists for individuals to trace their roots and learn about family history. Event is free, but sign up here to participate!